Kerala stops religious discourse in jails, Christian group upset

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Thiruvananthapuram: An order by the Kerala Jails Department stopping all religious discourses in the jails for the benefit of the prisoners has drawn the ire of a Christian group.

The order, issued a few days back, said there will be no more permission granted to conduct religious discourses which saw priests from all the religions arriving in the jails to interact with the prisoners.

George Sebastian, an office bearer of the Assembly of Christian Trust Services (ACTS), a body of all Christian churches and prayer groups, deplored that such an order has come when the Passion Week (the Aweek leading to Easter Sunday is presently on.

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“The order bans all such interactions with the prisoners and no religious leaders will now be allowed entry to the jails. What has pained us is this has happened during the Passion Week, a holy time for all Christians. The leaders of ACTS will soon be meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to see that this practise should not be discontinued as this interaction definitely is a way for the prisoners’ redemption,” he said.

Incidentally, this practice of leaders from various religions interacting with the prisoners for a fixed time a few days every month was there for long and now the top officials of the Kerala Police are tight-lipped on why it has been stopped. The buzz is that motivational speakers might be allowed.

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( With inputs from )

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